DISA's data centers to sell processing

The Defense Information Systems Agency is setting up its 17 data centers to let the military services and Defense Department agencies buy processing on demand.

Through a request for proposals released late last month, DISA said it wants a vendor to provide hardware, operating-system software and technical services to deliver processing capacity for eight environments:
  • Microsoft Windows

  • Linux from Red Hat Inc. of Raleigh, N.C.

  • SUSE Linux from Novell Inc.

  • HP-UX from Hewlett-Packard Co.

  • Sun Solaris from Sun Microsystems Inc.

  • AIX from IBM Corp.

  • z/OS from IBM

  • z/VM from IBM.

Buying processing on demand is starting to gain momentum, experts said. Utility computing is similar to the way consumers buy services from electric or water companies, paying for how much they consume.

'DISA's goal is to obtain a dynamically scalable processing capability utilizing an on-demand service approach that will readily adjust to changes in processing and throughput requirements ...' the RFP said.

Forrester Research Inc. of Cambridge, Mass., found that utility computing is not gaining widespread use in the private sector. A recent report found that 5 percent of the enterprises surveyed are using utility computing, led by the financial services, public sector and manufacturing industry.

Forrester found most industries are using utility computing for Web server farms or standard application clusters.

DISA will award one contract worth up to $700 million over the five-year base period. Proposals for the indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract are due Feb. 3.

Three vendors have expressed interest in the RFP: Anvi Inc. of Vienna, Va., MCI and Polyserve Inc. of Beaverton, Ore.

Currently DISA's data centers support a platform centric application environment. But in the RFP, DISA said it wants to move to a platform-independent, net-centric services environment.

DISA expects vendors to demonstrate hardware and software installation, and reconfiguration and upgrade capability.

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